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How Tavi Gevinson Stays Productive

“It helps to ask, ‘What’s the worst thing that happens if I don’t answer this email?’”

How Tavi Gevinson Stays Productive
Tavi Gevinson Then: Fashion Blogger Now: Actor, Editor-in-chief of Rookie Magazine [Photo: Nick Hudson]

When she appeared in Fast Company’s 2010 Most Creative People issue, Tavi Gevinson was a 14-year-old student writing a world-famous fashion blog, Style Rookie, from her home in the Chicago suburbs. With a wise-beyond-her-years voice and unique take on the industry, Gevinson drew some 54,000 daily readers, including Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld.

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Since then, Gevinson has expanded the blog into an influential online magazine that’s written by and for teenage girls. Called Rookie, it employs five full-time staff members, has produced three print “year­books,” and is attracting a passionate fan base. “I can’t control how many people read Rookie,” she says. “I would rather just put out stuff that I think is good and hope other people think is good. Unless you like what you’ve made, no amount of praise is going to mean anything.”

Now living in New York (she grad­­uated from high school last year), Gevinson has also found suc­­cess as an actress, starring in Kenneth Lonergan’s hit Broadway play This Is Our Youth alongside Michael Cera and landing a part in the upcoming film Goldbricks in Bloom. But she’s still mostly focused on Rookie—and on enjoying her success. “I’m trying to feel like I can relax and accept a slower pace,” she says. “A [job] you love doesn’t come along that often, so I’m comfortable with the idea of slowing down.”

Who would be on her MCP list

“The girls who started [the diversity-promoting media agency] Browntourage, because they have full-time jobs and still make this website and organization in their free time. They’ve created a space where it can go beyond just having a conversation on social media.”

Best Development since 2010

“I like how many more teenagers are using Twitter to find each other, critique pop culture, and support one another. It’s important for teenagers to create their own communities.”

Worst development

“The Apple Watch seems dumb, but I don’t know what I’m talking about and that should be noted.”

Advice she would give herself if she could go back to 2010

“Be easy on yourself.”

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How She Stays Productive

“The moment I let myself get overwhelmed, it all becomes more stressful. It helps to ask, ‘What’s the worst thing that happens if I don’t answer this email?’ ”

“I have a schedule. I go, ‘It’s 7 p.m.—I did everything I could today.’ You need a life separate from work.”